Last 2005, I’ve had the great experience to support a Mazda program and stayed for 9 months in Hiroshima, Japan. I met friends and continued to correspond via emails. A few weeks back, my good friend Sugy-chan, sent pictures of the dainty blossoms that I will forever associate with Japan.
From Wikipedia I’ve gathered that the Japanese track the sakura zensen (cherry-blossom front) as it moves northward up the archipelago. It proceeds into areas at the higher altitudes with the Hokkaido cherry blossoms late. Japanese pay close attention to these forecasts and turn out in large numbers at parks, shrines, and temples with family and friends to hold flower-viewing parties which I have had the good fortune to experience also.
These tiny flowers never fail to move me. For some reason they give me warm feelings, they are like tangible hope.
With the earthquake that stuck the north-east coast this year, for me, these blossoms are like the Japanese people, they seem delicate but they are very poised in the face of the devastating earthquake. They face the disaster unflinchingly and slowly rebuilt their lives. What a great people, what a great nation.